Moles are caused when cells in the skin, called melanocytes, grow in clusters or clumps with tissue surrounding them. Melanocyte cells produce melanin, the natural pigment that gives your skin its color. Normally, melanocytes are distributed evenly throughout your skin.
Most moles are harmless and don't require special care, but some people have unusual-looking moles, called dysplastic nevi, which are more likely to turn cancerous than ordinary moles are.
Dec. 06, 2011
- Moles. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_moles.html. Accessed Sept. 13, 2011.
- Moles. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/dermatologic_disorders/benign_skin_tumors/moles.htmlnatlcan. Accessed Sept. 13, 2011.
- What you need to know about moles and dysplastic nevi. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/moles-and-dysplastic-nevi/allpages/print. Accessed Sept. 13,2011.
- Nevi and malignant melanoma. In: Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010.http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
- Moles in children: What parents should know. American Academy of Dermatology. http://www.skincarephysicians.com/skincancernet/moles_children.html. Accessed Sept. 13, 2011.
- Clarke LE. Dysplastic nevi. Clinics in Laboratory Medicine. 2011;31:255.
- Step-by-step self-examination. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/step-by-step-self-examination/Print.html. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
- Prevention guidelines. Skin Cancer Foundation. http://www.skincancer.org/prevention-guidelines/Print.html. Accessed Sept. 14, 2011.
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